Indonesian-born coach Tang Xianhu was the key to China’s fourth-straight Thomas Cup men’s badminton team championship in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, said a top Chinese shuttler.
Tang, 68, played a pivotal role in the tournament and performed flawlessly, China’s first singles player Lin Dan said.
“[Tang] is my coach, but I also call him grandfather. He is a responsible coach. I was lucky to train under his direction. He not only guided me technically, but taught me about life,” Olympic champion Lin said, as reported by kompas.com.
Tang was courtside whenever Lin played in the tournament. The coach saw Lin overpower his Indonesian rival, Taufik Hidayat, 3-0 in Sunday’s final match.
Tang, previously known as Tong Sinfu, helped Indonesia dominate the badminton world in the 1990s,
Born in Teluk Betung, Lampung, in 1942, Tang later moved to China. He returned to Indonesia in 1986 as a coach and was recruited by the Badminton Association of Indonesia in 1990. He helped Indonesian teams to victories at the Thomas Cup and its women’s equivalent, the Uber Cup, and coached players who won Olympic gold medals and other prestigious titles.
Tang left Indonesia for China in 1998 after the government rejected his request for naturalization.
Tang’s return marked China’s resurgence in badminton world. China has won nine Thomas Cup tournaments.